Quality Management and Improvement

The Department’s goal is to improve the health of North Carolinians through an innovative, whole-person centered, and well-coordinated system of care and measurement of quality, which addresses both medical and non-medical drivers of health.

As North Carolina transitions to NC Medicaid Managed Care, the Department will work with Prepaid Health Plans (PHPs) to develop a data-driven, outcomes-based continuous quality improvement process, This will:

  • Focus on rigorous outcome measurement compared to relevant targets and benchmarks,
  • Promote equity through reduction or elimination of health disparities, and
  • Appropriately reward PHPs and, in turn, providers for advancing quality goals and health outcomes.

Quality Strategy

The Department’s Quality Strategy details Medicaid Managed Care aims, goals and objectives for quality management and improvement and details specific quality improvement (QI) initiatives that are priorities for the Department.

Quality Framework


NC Medicaid Managed Care Quality Strategy - April 18, 2019

Quality Strategy Update Draft Posted for Public Comment

On April 5, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services posted the NC Medicaid Managed Care Quality Strategy update draft and Executive Summary for public comments until May 6, 2021. 

The updated Quality Strategy now incorporates the quality activities of all managed care plans, including the Behavioral Health I/DD Tailored Plans, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Tribal Option and Community Care of North Carolina.  

To comment on the strategy, please email Medicaid.NCEngagement@dhhs.nc.gov.

Quality and Accountability

While the mechanics of reimbursement for health care are changing, the goal of NC Medicaid remains improving beneficiaries’ health and well-being by delivering the right care, in the right place, at the right time. In designing this transition, the Department is committed to leveraging engagement through the managed care program with PHPs and their contracted providers to improve the quality of health care beneficiaries receive.

North Carolina identified targeted quality indicators that will serve as guides for the Department, contracted plans and providers. These performance indicators will be crucial to assess the success of the new approach.

Provider Health Plan Quality Performance and Accountability Concept Paper

Annual Quality Report

The NC Medicaid Annual Quality report assesses NC Medicaid’s 2016 -2019 performance on quality measures linked to the goals identified in the NC Medicaid Managed Care Quality Strategy. NC Medicaid will work with health plans, Local Management Entities – Managed Care Organizations (LME-MCOs), Primary Care Case Management (PCCM) entities and providers to focus on significant improvements in quality performance year over year.

NC Medicaid Annual Quality Report - December 2020

Quality Measurement Technical Specifications

This document provides an overview of the Department’s plans for promoting high-quality care through Medicaid Managed Care, and updates the information found in the PHP Quality Performance and Accountability Concept Paper. It includes a list of the quality measures intended for use in the early years of the program. The Department will update this document as needed and on an annual basis.

Medicaid Managed Care Quality Measurement Technical Specifications Manual - May 11, 2021

Smarter Spending: Value-Based Purchasing under Managed Care

NC Medicaid will increasingly tie payment to value and will support PHP and provider contracting flexibility that helps providers deliver care in new ways. PHPs will play a critical role in driving forward Medicaid’s Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) goals. 

The NC VBP strategy is built upon the HCP-LAN Framework.

Guidance and Resources

  • VBP Guidance - This guidance provides details on year 1 and 2 PHP VBP expectations and targets. Attachments A and B below accompany this guidance. A longer-term VBP roadmap is in development. 
  • Attachment A: VBP Assessment - This is a retrospective reporting tool that PHPs must complete and submit to the Department annually documenting VBP contracts in place and payments made under VBP arrangements during the relevant reporting period.
  • Attachment B: Templates for PHP VBP Strategy - These templates project VBP contracts and payments expected to be made under VBP arrangements in the coming year. These templates should be included in PHPs' VBP Strategies submitted to the Department annually. 

Policy Papers for Public Comment

On January 8, 2020, the Department issued two policy papers for public comments detailing the strategy to promote value-based care in NC Medicaid Managed Care.

Both policy papers can be found on NC Medicaid’s website. The Department welcomes feedback on both papers by emailing Medicaid.Transformation@dhhs.nc.gov by Feb. 19, 2020.